Tonganoxie High golfers take 9th at state meet in Dodge City
Tonganoxie High finally got to compete in the state golf tournament.
THS senior Jacob Hall tied for 11th Wednesday, May 30, as the team placed ninth at state.
“I think we did OK,” said THS coach Doug Sandburg. “We were missing two of our guys.” “Spencer Gratton did a great job subbing in for one of them.”
Senior Dylan Aitkens and sophomore Noah Skelley weren’t available due to conflicting schedules, something that seemed to affect other teams also. A look at the final standings showed that other teams had golfers who couldn’t compete either at the rescheduled event.
Wichita Trinity won the meet with a 315 low score. Wellington placed second (331), Andale third (336), Fort Scott fourth (339) and Wamego fifth (341).
Tonganoxie finished ninth out of 12 teams, with Hall nearly cracking the Top 10.
“I thought we played a great practice round (on May 29),” Sandburg said. “I think that got our expectations up.”
He said that when some of the team members then struggled a little on the day of the meet, it bothered them a bit, he thought.
Sandburg said he also felt bad for outgoing senior Hall, who had a great meet finishing just outside the Top 10. He said that if Hall could have made his three-putts into two-putts, he would have been runner-up individually.
“But Jacob Hall has had a great career and he has done a lot for our program,” Sandburg said. “His impact is going to be felt for the next two or three years to come. I thoroughly loved having him Dylan (Aitkens), Adam (DeMaranville) and all the seniors because they raised the bar in our program and continued to raise the bar.”
DeMaranville was on the state team, while other seniors on this year’s squad were Braxton Shupe, Lucas Boice and Trey Lewallen.
The team finally had nice weather for a golf tournament in Dodge City, though team members were glued to the television with reports from back home of the tornado hitting the southern part of Leavenworth County.
“We were more worried about everybody back at home than what we were doing that night and getting out to a meal,” Sandburg said.
Tonganoxie could make program history next year. Senior-to-be Jackson Vorbeck would be the first golfer to compete at state all four years competing with and representing a full team.
Sandburg is encouraged by what could be in store for the program in the coming years, but he also said the team has to get over the hump. There was another stretch when Colby Yates and Drew Sandburg played that the team took third at state and was runner up the other two years.
“We need to get out of the end of the bracket,” Sandburg said. “We need to learn how to play and show up at state.”